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Going West with Others by Bhaktimarga Swami

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 I traveled with four other spiritual leaders by plane. We were enroute to our Canadian leaders’ meeting, to be held in Venables Valley, British Columbia. It was a prolonged travel, which included missing a connecting flight. It was too bad. However, we had each other, sparing the five of us from stress. I did take the time for a few minutes to read an article from the…
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Meeting Tony by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Achuta is a young father originally from Tamil Nadu, who is now living in Qatar. He is exploring Canada as a place to move to.  He happily accepted my proposal for a one hour walk.  We did so in a drizzle, in a nearby neighbourhood of the temple/ashram.  We both chatted and compared notes, so to speak, on the differences between the three cultures of India, the Middle East…
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To Embracing Madness by Bhaktimarga Swami

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"The Great Trail is the longest recreational trail in the world,” reads the plaque, "spanning 24,000 kilometres from coast to coast (in Canada) and connecting over 15,000 communities. “

What is significant, to Marshall and I, is we managed to be there at the start of this "Great Trail" and it wasn't my first time.  Marshall remarked it has the feel, when you're here at its beginning, that  you just want to travel on it forever.  I guess…
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I had the good fortune to get onto the East Coast Trail. It's rugged and rocky.  You have to watch your step.  There's a cold ocean next to you, way down.

Marshall and I had spent a brief time at Memorial U., in the food court.  It's astounding how many students are from India.  They favourably responded to our harmonium and mrdunga playing.  They are respectful and warm.  My advice to them is: "Don't sacrifice what you know spiritually…
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Austere by Bhaktimarga Swami

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This is about the most austere practice that I have to go through.  Perhaps I can speak for some of my peers as well.  It is not the 33 degrees Celsius heat, which feels like 40, that has become the challenge.  The snacks  and juices at meeting sessions are satisfactory.  The company itself is beyond any heavenly requests and  I’m in the midst of the best saints.  What really poses a difficulty are the long…
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I asked a resident, and my host, Amie, how to get to the nearest trail.  We stood in front of her home on this gorgeous clear-sky morning while she gave us directions.  The location is one of those swirly-street neighbourhoods in the suburbs. 

"Turn right, then left, then right..." she said, with a ‘this’ and a ‘that’ added…
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A second Vivek, who owns and runs Karma Café, took me to a Burrito restaurant in Saskatoon, which is now a commercial chain in the province.  It is a father and son business which arranged to accommodate my vegetarian needs.  During the lunch, I sat and chatted for an hour with this dynamic duo who happen to be…
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Let Quiet Be by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I really appreciated all the healthy green foliage on my walk today.  Actually I spent a good two hours trekking under a light rain the entire time.  When that happens, you can be assured that all the wild growth of plants and flowers becomes intensified in beauty and fragrance.  Leaves appear to be ‘shined-up.’  The emission of scent is very enhanced in all its…
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Water All Around by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Wasaga Beach claims to be the longest unguarded beach in the world.  No lifeguards.  Isn't that something?  It was said that at one time, maybe still today (although the sign we read didn't say that) it was classified as the longest beach on a freshwater body.  That's a great claim.
 
It was…
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On the Train and the Road by Bhaktimarga Swami

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The passenger next to me on the VIA train was a sweet elderly lady from Dorval, Quebec, and by her own arrangement this petite lady was enroute to Niagara-on-the-Lake, then a stay overnight in a hotel room to attend the Shaw Theatre (as in George Bernard Shaw).  It was clearly a holiday for her.

I mentioned to her that Niagara-on-the-Lake is where the Bruce Trail begins, a trail that I have begun to tackle.  One…
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A Stop in Montreal by Bhaktimarga Swami

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From Halifax, I flew to Montreal.  It's a short flight.  Anyway, I was sad to leave our place there, but happy to be in another.
 
Every year our Montreal community holds a ‘memories of our guru event’ on Labour Day weekend.  I was invited and asked to speak about my personal epiphanies on the…
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Ideal Family by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Susan is an art curator living in the Lunenburg area, known for its quaint fishing village, a popular tourist attraction.  Before she moved into the field of art, when young, she spent one year in a Krishna temple living like a nun.  All this time, she has kept Krishna in her heart.  A gracious host, she and her partner,…
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Chats by Bhaktimarga Swami

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A fourteen year old asked her dad, "Who are those guys in beige from head to toe?"  
 
And the dad answered the best he could.  "It looks like they're going through some Shakespearean script.  Intense monks or something!" (at Killarney Lake).
 
I was having a peaceful conversation with Etienne and daughter,…
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